As autumn approaches and we hear the crisp crunch of leaves under our feet, we’ve asked two more of our APQS dealers to share their quilting ideas for this seasonal wall hanging to inspire your creativity. It is called “Falling Maples” and is designed by APQS National Education Director Dawn Cavanaugh.
Each dealer chose her own color palette, batting, thread and fabric to make the quilt “her own.” But no matter what color palette you choose to piece the quilt, ample negative space ensures that the quilting will stand out as well as the piecing.
Longarm quilters have many helpful tools to give them more design opportunities, including everything from guiding rulers to computerized systems. APQS dealers Georgene Huggett of Poquoson, VA and Betty Reid of Petal, MSeach chose a different quilting method and tool set to accomplish their quilts. But both are equally spectacular!
Georgene Huggett’s design
Georgene loves using the APQS Quilt Path computerized system on her Millennium to create her quilts. For this project she chose to combine straight edge ruler work with some small freehand fillers and lots of computerized designs to create her masterpiece.
She chose a subtle, muted color palette of brown, ivory and green to suit the theme. Her thread choice of So Fine #50 was a perfect complement to the design. Fil-Tec Magnaglide Classic bobbins made changing thread colors super easy. The blending colors disappeared into the quilt, while the Quilter’s Dream Cotton Select batting provided just enough loft to create loads of texture.
Here is how Georgene described her creative process with this quilt:
“When piecing this top, I knew I wanted to emphasize the center medallion, and I’m working on not always trying to find a quilting design that fits the pieced element exactly; instead, I was looking for a quilting design to work with the pieced element, for instance the star in the middle. Why not let the pieced design (the center star) become the background for a beautiful quilting design? This created a wonderful secondary design and gave the star the illusion that it was radiating out to all sides of the quilt.
This project came long at just the right time as I needed a custom quilt of my own to use as an example to show my work to prospective customers, since most of my custom jobs go home with my current customers. I also wanted to show some border design alternatives to a traditional style border that wrapped itself all around the quilt. None of these designs are typical border designs; therefore, I didn’t need to turn the quilt and put it back on my frame or create designs for the sides. I simply flipped the designs in Quilt Path to be appropriate for each border, and quilted the side designs as I worked my way down the quilt with my Millie.
The computerized patterns were from the Grace Company and included with Quilt Path, along with Ellen Munnich’s Quilt Recipes, One Song Needle Arts and Wasatch Digitized Quilting. If I had it to do over again, I would have used the same border designs on the top and bottom as I did on the two sides. I think they look better. But I stitched the top and bottom borders first and chose not to undo them.After all, done is good!”
Betty Reid’s design
This very traditional quilt, along with its traditional palette threw a curve ball to Betty Reid, our APQS Dealer from Petal, MS. Although Betty’s personal interests lie in modern fabrics, bright colors, and contemporary piecing she rose to the occasion and conquered the quilt with a stunning design and bright palette that fit in perfectly with her exuberant personality! Here’s how Betty’s keen eye reinterpreted the design and how she found inspiration in the layout:
“A personal goal of mine is to learn something new from each quilt. While I have longarm quilted hundreds of quilts, I am fairly new to piecing traditional quilt patterns. I’m not a fan of traditional, but prefer modern design.
You can imagine my “gasp” when I saw our pattern was entitled “Falling Maple Leaf!” I was determined for mine NOT to be a Maw Maw Maple Leaf wall hanging! I printed the pattern in black & white and immediately saw descending doves instead of leaves and a rainbow shape.
First, I went to my stash and picked as many bright and modern colors as I could find. Since the pattern was primarily squares and triangles, I chose fabric with circles and swirls to mix it up a bit. I chose a variety of colors for the “rainbow”. Let the piecing begin! Here are things I learned from this experience:
Lesson #1: Following a pattern is much easier than looking at a design and assuming a couple of half triangles and squares will fit accordingly. Take the time to read the pattern, and then follow it. I learned an appreciation for pattern designers.
Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid to go bold and show your stitching.
I chose YLI Polished Poly aqua thread 40 weight so that it would show up nicely on the black background. I tend to go with blender threads, so this was a new one for me too. I ABSOLUTELY loved the pop of color and have since ordered more fun colored thread. I love that my APQS machine can handle so many different threads with no trouble. I chose Quilter’s Dream Puff batting so the rainbow blocks and doves would “puff” up a little.
All my quilting designs were free motion, and very basic beginner patterns. I filled in around the doves with simple swirls to give the feel of wind or maybe even waves from Noah’s ark. The center multi colored fabric is quilted with an olive pattern (circle in a circle).
The border is quilted with olives and a couple of leaves added to each side of it. I believe it was an olive branch that the doves carried back to the ark with, signifying life goes on. I outlined the small rainbow blocks and doves with a simple ¼-inch outline inside the blocks. This was easy using my hopping foot as a guide.
Last, but certainly not least, I incorporated an outline of the APQS dove emblem attached to every machine, in the center block.I did this by first tracing the pattern off my machine with tracing paper, then placing it to the right of my stitching area and used my laser light attached to top front of my machine. I also stitched separate dove emblems in center of each corner dove and used my Quilt Glide detail stitching feature to fill in with thread to make them more visible
This was my first attempt at using laser light (typically used on pantograph table) on front of machine, but it worked wonderfully.
Lesson #3: If it takes you out of your comfort zone, it’s worth the trip!
You are invited to come see my “Not your Maw Maw’s Maple Leaf” proudly hanging in my studio,just in time for my Open House October 10th from 10-2! Thanks to APQS and Dawn for inviting me on this journey!”